March 9, 2010

The Bookwitch: “My alert readers will immediately deduce who that sleeve belongs to, and that the asterisks above indicate that after blogging about Scandinavian Airlines and the Scattered Authors, I have finally met the real SAS. I mean, the real SAS for me is the airline, but it’s the ‘cool and dangerous’ SAS this time.

I met Andy McNab in Birmingham yesterday. At least I hope I did. I went into this bar and started chatting to the first balaclava-ed man I saw. It was him, wasn’t it? With all other writers, if I don’t know them, I google them to make sure I can recognise them. Doesn’t work with Andy. Not that he’s called Andy, anyway. This one tried to suggest he’d be Terry Pratchett today, but you know me. I know my Terry Pratchetts well, and it wasn’t him. He tried it with the wrong witch.

Andy’s lovely publicist Sally had suggested that I might want to interview him. And I did, seeing as I missed him at the local bookshop three years ago, due to someone’s unfortunate lack of understanding my likes and dislikes. The Daughter got to meet him then, so she didn’t need to come this time. Especially since the services of a photographer wasn’t top of my list for Monday’s outing.

The witch had tea and this man in the bar had coke. Whoever he was, we had a nice conversation. He looked rather like a Guardian reader, now that I come to think of it. That doesn’t mean we actually read the same newspaper. In case he wants to sue.

As some of you will want to know what Andy had to say, I’ll now work diligently at transcribing our conversation, and I will strive to make up a really good misquote, because he seemed to quite fancy being quoted wrongly, as long as it’s a good one.

And no, he didn’t really wear a balaclava. It would have attracted attention.”

Source: Bookwitch

Bookwitch posted the interview this week and it’s awesome. We’ll post a snippit but really you have to go read the entire interview!

Andy McNab: “I say “look, if you wanna be in the X-Files, you’ve got to be talented. Get on with it. However, if you can’t read, you can’t read your contract. Contracts are like that (he holds up his finger and thumb to show how thick) and you’ve got to be able to read.”

The Andy McNab interview
March 23, 2010
Whether or not the man I interviewed in Birmingham the other week was an impostor, at least it was the same impostor as turned up in G2 a few days later. I’d recognise the man behind those cucumber slices anywhere! Also gather that my way of taking photos of Andy’s sleeve must have caught on, since it seems that some television channel or other did precisely that when Andy talked to the opposition leader. Please note that he met with me first. Everybody needs a sense of priority when they have a busy week.
So, read the interview, and see what sort of man and writer this former soldier is. His interest in getting boys educated is heartening. Enticing reluctant readers to open a book is another thing to admire Andy for. I remain to be convinced of the necessity for his anonymity, but it does make for a different kind of meeting. And he doesn’t take himself too seriously, which is nice.

Andy McNab – ‘I’ve met myself, you know’

He’s well preserved for fifty, this man who claims to be Andy McNab. Good looking and with very few grey hairs. He’s waiting for me in the bar at the top of the red-carpeted stairs at the Birmingham Malmaison. We appear to be in Birmingham’s former mail sorting office, which is quite appropriate for me, at least. Andy leads us to two black sofas by the window, where we can see the entrance to the upmarket shopping mall housed in the Mailbox, as it’s called.

Go here to read the Bookwitch interview with Andy McNab

Photos by Bookwitch’ Ann Giles on Flickr


May 2010

“ForceSelect is attracting the calibre of people with the capability and ‘can do’ attitude that UK businesses need to succeed in this economic climate.” ~Andy McNab DCM MM

In May 2009 whilst cycling to Paris on behalf of Help For Heroes, Hugh Andrée wondered what more he could do to help service leavers. Having made the transition from the Armed Forces to civilian life some twelve years earlier, he remembered all too well the uncertainties and loneliness that confronted him. It soon became obvious that there was an opportunity to provide both service leavers and working veterans with a recruitment offering and support system that was tailored to look after their specific needs, and was staffed by individuals who had served in the forces and successfully made the transition into civilian life.

The business model was established with three key components: recruitment, support and mentoring and charitable donations through the ForceSelect Foundation.
In July 2009 Lucy Wood agreed to become Managing Director of ForceSelect, responsible for day-to-day operations. Lucy served with the Royal Artillery for six years before entering the world or recruitment in 1998.
In August 2009 ForceSelect was delighted when Andy McNab DCM MM agreed to join as a Director of ForceSelect. Since leaving the Army in 1993, Andy has gone on to become one of the most successful British writers of our generation as well as a successful businessman and investor.
2009 finished on a real high with General Sir Mike Jackson GCB CBE DSO DL agreeing to join the company as Non Executive Director and the MoD agreeing to recognise and support the company. 
ForceSelect now has a team of highly experienced recruitment professionals and ex- service personnel in place who manage and develop the business to provide the necessary understanding and guidance to both job seekers and employers. It is our intention that forces personnel, the MoD, service charities and of course the wider business community should benefit from the services provided by ForceSelect.

For more information go to the ForceSelect website


Published: 22-03-2010
By Duncan Larcombe, David Willetts, Jane Hamilton and Tom Newton Dunn.

The Sun today marches to the rescue of 50,000 unemployed ex-Forces personnel with our latest groundbreaking campaign – Jobs for Heroes.
Experts fear thousands of former Servicemen and women end up on the dole or doing dead-end, depressing and demeaning jobs after coming out into Civvy Street.


IF you are a sailor, soldier or airman leaving the Forces and want to apply for a job, log on to www.forceselect.com

IF you are a company with a vacancy you can offer to one of our brave ex-Servicemen or women, please send your details by email to info@forceselect.com


We REFUSE to see such proud individuals – many of whom have risked their lives on combat front lines – ignored and undervalued by employers.

So we have teamed up with expert recruiters just waiting to place an army of heroes in fulfilling careers which they not only deserve, but which will be suited to their unique specialist skills.


Former SAS hero-turned-author Andy McNab is director of ForceSelect and former Army chief General Sir Mike Jackson is a non-executive director.

General Sir Mike said: “I believe that ForceSelect is going to make a tremendous contribution to helping people.

“Not only will ForceSelect find Service leavers new jobs and careers, but it will also give them mentoring and support – including financial and accommodation advice – to help make the transition.”

ForceSelect has also launched a charitable foundation where sums of money will be distributed to Forces good causes.

Troops’ top skills
By David Willetss

SAS hero and ForceSelect director Andy McNab last night explained some of the challenges faced by troops entering Civvy Street.

He said many don’t understand their potential and what fantastic skills they can offer employers.

Andy added: “There is trepidation and often the longer they have served the harder it is to get out. Many settle for sub-standard jobs or take temporary options. What they need and deserve are real jobs with a good salary and good prospects. ForceSelect is aimed at getting proper jobs for Our Boys.

Businesses are not feeling sorry for our Servicemen and women, they are realising the qualities and skills these people have. If you’re the right person for the post, Jobs for Heroes is going to get you in.” 

Go to The Sun website to read the full article


The U.S. Census is taking place, and GML’s favourite mercenary is taking part!
Read the latest action-packed entry in Randy McFab’s Journal.


Empire Online – 18 March 2010

Nick Stone Movie Is On The Way – Echelon is based on Andy McNab’s novels

Move over, Jason Bourne – there’s a new movie spy in town, and his name is Nick Stone.

Stone, in case you didn’t know, is the hero of the long-running series of novels by ex-SAS hardnut and Heat shoot-out co-ordinator, Andy McNab. In the ultimate example of ‘write-what-you-know’, Stone is also an ex-SAS hardnut, constantly getting mixed up in all sorts of political intrigue that warrant solving with extreme violence.

So far the Stone series has stretched to twelve books, the rights to which have just been snapped up by Hyde Park and casting director-turned-producer, Bonnie Timmerman. Timmerman first bought the rights in the mid-90s, sold them to Harvey Weinstein in 2001, and has now got them back again after they were allowed to lapse.

The first Stone movie in the works is an adaptation of the third novel, Firewall, which will be renamed Echelon for the silver screen (presumably to avoid people confusing it with the Harrison Ford clunker of the same name). And yes, they’re talking franchise…

Firew – sorry, Echelon will see Stone team up with a female cryptographer (shades of Dan Brown) to infiltrate a computer facility that could jeopardise global security. Action! Intrigue! Hot ladies! It’s got it all.

The script has been written by McNab himself and a fellow called John Connor who, with a name like that, was simply born to write action movies. Ashok Amritraj, head of Hyde Park, will produce along with Timmerman.

Sounds like it could be promising, although we won’t be happy until Jack Reacher has stomped, punched and grimaced his way onto the big screen…
Chris Hewitt

Source: Empire Online


To be sceptical.. or hopefull??  Starting in 2001 this news has reached us in numerous variations.  For a long time Crisis Four was the one to be adapted into a movie. Then, in 2005 Andy himself said in an exclusive interview with Grey Man’s Land:  “The one thing I’ve learnt about Hollywood is that there has to be a lot of meetings before anyone can even decide if they want sugar in their coffee.”

BUT.. things really seem to be happening for real now. ‘Echelon’ – based on Firewall. We’re going to be hopefull!

March 17, 2010
By Tatiana Siegel

Hyde Park buys Nick Stone rights – Production company targets Andy McNab book series as franchise

Hyde Park has acquired the rights to Brit author Andy McNab’s Nick Stone espionage novels and is eyeing the series as a potential franchise.
The first pic will be “Echelon,” which is based on McNab’s novel “Firewall” and is the third of 12 books in the series. “Echelon” will mark the first pic to be financed under the Hyde Park/Imagenation pact; the two companies recently partnered on a $250 million deal to develop, produce and distribute up to 20 films over seven years.

Veteran casting agent Bonnie Timmerman, who acquired the rights to the series in mid-1990s, is producing alongside Hyde Park topper Ashok Amritraj. Timmerman, whose producing credits include the Nicole Kidman starrer “Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus,” sold the rights to the novels in July 2001 to Harvey Weinstein, who tried for years to get a Nick Stone project off the ground, but spy pics turned cold in a post-9/11 world and Weinstein eventually let the rights lapse.

In “Echelon,” soldier of fortune Nick Stone, paired with a street-smart female cryptographer, is hired to infiltrate a computer facility poised to breach a secret global surveillance system.

McNab and John Connor, who together penned the script, are exec producing along with Imagenation’s Mohamed Khalaf Al-Mazrouei and Edward Borgerding. Imagenation’s Stefan Brunner will serve as associate producer. Hyde Park’s Patrick Aiello is shepherding the pic.

“I’ve been a fan of the Nick Stone stories for years, as they are a rich and unique source for a contemporary action-thriller,” said Amritraj, who likened the series to Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne novels.

Source: Variety